Wednesday, October 4, 2017

September Recap

Well... Oops? August and September just kind of molded into one month and I never recapped August. When I realized, it was too late, so I just didn't. I guess part of that is because it coincided with A LOT going on and I didn't have time! I think that's the trend of the last month... And likely the months to come.

What books did I get?



The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake
Warcross by Marie Lu
Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

All my purchases, all signed! That's the approach I'm taking to buying books right now, because I need not to be spending so much money. Either I've read the book and adored it, or it's by someone I love! 


The Hunting Accident by David L. Carlson, illustrated by Landis Blair
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
Winner Take All by Laurie Devore
I Stop Somewhere by T.E. Carter
Don't Forget Me by Victoria Stevens
A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena
Dreamer by L.E. Delano
As She Fades by Abbi Glines

And these are the pretties I've gotten for review in the mail! The Hunting Accident is a graphic novel, which isn't my normal kind of thing, but I gave it a try and really enjoyed it! I'm really excited for the rest of these, too. :)


Honestly, I just had to show off this set. We got this at work and I literally screamed and grabbed it off the dolly after the UPS guy brought it in. I think I freaked him out. I carried it around for a while, hugging it to my chest. It's my precious and I'm never gonna break it up.

What did I post?

Not a darn thing in September, though these are what I posted in August...

July Recap
Blog Tour: Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco {Playlist + Giveaway}

I know.

What did I read?

A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare
Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart
The Inventor's Secret by Andrea Cremer
The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell
Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas
Darling Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
What Happens in London by Julia Quinn
Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman
The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
Kate & Jesse by Erin Bowman (novella)
Warcross by Marie Lu
Seduce Me at Sunrise by Lisa Kleypas
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
The Hunting Accident by David L. Carlson
A Daring Arrangement by Joanna Shupe

Favorite of the month: I LOVED Warcross and An Enchantment of Ravens, but I have to mention how much I liked Vengeance Road, Crooked Kingdom, and The Last Magician! I read some good stuff in August and September!

(I'm too lazy to link all of those...)

What will I read?

I don't think I'm going to continue with this, because I don't do well with TBRs. I've been thinking I would try and pare down on the books I've had living on my shelves, though. I think there are probably lots I wouldn't keep after I read them, but I'm afraid I'll love them so I don't want to get rid of them without reading them first. I'm gonna try, so we'll see!


What am I doing?

Well, the beginning of September I went to Disney World! I don't know if y'all remember, but last time I caught a virus and more than half of my (rather short) trip was a bust, because I spent it puking. This time I didn't get sick, but a hurricane did cut our trip a little short. We left a day early to avoid it, but that didn't bother me too much. I still got to do everything I wanted to do! We visited Pandora and I was so happy I'd avoided looking at much about it, because it's completely fabulous. Flights of Passage is awe-inspiring. I got to see Happily Ever After, the new fireworks show, for the first time (again, something I avoided looking at much about) and I cried the whole time. Which is completely normal for me. 

Other than that, it's been all about work, school, and my niece--who should be here any day now! At work, we've had an upheaval, with my store manager going on leave to take care of her father and one of our head cashiers being diagnosed with cancer, all too close to the holidays. I've been temporarily promoted to receiving manager, with someone else largely taking care of kids, so it's been interesting! I do like making more money, though! This new semester of school seems to be taking a lot longer to do homework than others. I'm also writing for a local magazine, so life's feeling really full right now.

And with that, like I said, my first niece should be here any day! She's due on the 15th, but the doctor has told my sister-in-law that it'll be earlier, likely by the 12th, but she's big enough to come anytime. Which is crazy, but we're ecstatic! We'll see how that adds into my busyness, huh?


I've been really remiss with this blog, and it breaks my heart when I think about it. I really think I need to make a decision with it, either commit to it fully or shutter it. I know which way I'm leaning, because it hurts my heart to give up the blog, so I need to recommit myself, even though I know it won't be how a lot of people blog, because there's simply not enough time for me, without giving up sleep--which I shouldn't do, or I'll be a grump!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Blog Tour: Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco {Playlist + Giveaway}


Y'all, I am over the moon excited to be kicking off the blog tour for Hunting Prince Dracula, hosted by the Knights of Whitechapel! If I haven't spouted my love of Stalking Jack the Ripper to you in the last year, I probably simply haven't seen you. Lucky little me has already read Hunting Prince Dracula (literally dropped everything to reread SJtR really quickly and leap into HPD!), and it's seriously wonderful. Everything you loved in Kerri's first book is there again, but with higher stakes (stakes, get it?), an even more gothic, dramatic setting, and even more romance. This is one you're going to need to pick up as soon as you can.

Release date: September 19, 2017
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr | Pinterest
Publisher: JIMMY Patterson Books
Pages: 448
In this hotly anticipated sequel to the haunting #1 bestseller Stalking Jack the Ripper, bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Prince Vlad the Impaler, otherwise known as Dracula. Could it be a copycat killer...or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper's true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe's best schools of forensic medicine...and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life's dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school's forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.

PRAISE FOR HUNTING PRINCE DRACULA
“There are plenty of suspects and red herrings as well as tense escalations….A scenic, twisty mystery.”
Kirkus Reviews

 “Readers of the previous mystery will be thrilled to have more of this likable duo. [A] delightful romp into an 1888 Gothic mystery with a hint of romance.”
School Library Connection

Pre-Order the Book:

Personally, I'm ordering from one of Kerri's tour stops to get my book signed and personalized. Her stops are listed here!

AND, if you pre-order and submit your proof of order, you can receive an exclusive story from Thomas' POV! Check out details here--it's international!

About the author:

Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats.

Her first novel in this series, Stalking Jack the Ripper, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. It incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history.

And now for my playlist! Last year, for the Stalking Jack the Ripper tour, I put together a playlist for that book (linked, if you're interested!), so I was really excited to work on another playlist for its sequel! Often, I only pick music that I would listen to while reading, all orchestral, because I love to play music that enhances the mood and tone of a book, but oftentimes people singing distracts me. This time, I went a little further and picked music that I think, in some moments of the book, reflects how the characters are thinking. I still, however, wanted to maintain the mood. So everything here is a little subdued and dark, which should make it a perfect accompaniment to reading Hunting Prince Dracula!



And it's not a complete tour stop without a giveaway, huh? Here we are! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So there it is! I hope y'all are already getting excited for the book (I know I am!) and will follow the tour. We've got some really great posts coming up in the next month! Here's the link, if you're so inclined--I'll be following along myself! And keep an eye out here for my review of HPD in the next month as well! (Spoiler: It'll be gushing.)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

July Recap

Can y'all believe July is over?? I feel like I just did the June recap (maybe that's because I didn't post too much in between, though...)

What books did I get?


Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart
Hunted by Meagan Spooner
Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely


Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier
Dream On by Kerstin Gier
Roseblood by A.G. Howard
Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan
Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Once and For All by Sarah Dessen

Again, I'm proud of myself because I only bought two books! I got Three Dark Crowns and Once and For All at work because they were on sale already and I had coupons I could stack, so it was too good a deal to pass up! Nearly everything else, except for The Epic Crush of Genie Lo and Genuine Fraud, are all from trades. And I'm pleased as punch with my trades!

What did I post?

June Recap
Best of 2017... So Far
Review: Mad Miss Mimic by Sarah Henstra
Review: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

So... Not great. But last month's posts were all for blog tours, which obviously I'd made a commitment to and had to do, but all of these were instigated by me! So that's better, and I'm gonna take it. :)

What did I read?

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
Want by Cindy Pon
Once and For All by Sarah Dessen
Wesley James Ruined My Life by Jennifer Honeybourn
Rebels Rising by Shanna Swendson
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Lady Bridget's Diary by Maya Rodale
Lord of Darkness by Elizabeth Hoyt
The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid
Duke of Midnight by Elizabeth Hoyt

Favorite of the month: I looooooooved Flame in the Mist, but I also have to give a shout out to Lord of Darkness for being the first book in the Maiden Lane series that I loved. I've enjoyed the series well enough up to that point--but I loved Lord of Darkness! (I loved Flame more though.)

Currently reading: A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare

What will I read?


Can we talk about how I'm the WORST at sticking to a TBR? I read like two books from last month's. I'm such a mood reader, though, so if I force myself to read something I'm not in the mood for I don't enjoy it as much! I can tell, too, because of how I react. I didn't put any historical romance on this pile, but I've got lots of egalleys, so if that mood strikes (as it has been!), I can pull from those. Hopefully with a wide enough selection to pull from, I can manage to make a little progress!

What am I doing?

Well, this month has been largely uneventful! I've just been working. I guess work is a little better than it was. The no tasks thing has loosened a lot, so I can actually get stuff done--though I've barely kept my head above water, I'm just treading, at this point. Maybe eventually I'll get ahead.

I'm a month away from my next Disney trip! I am pumped--because I'm determined not to get sick this time, and have lots of time there! I'm in full Disney obsession mode, reading all about the news in the parks and watching the movies. YAY.

I've got...even more bookish candles on their way. Oops. I'm working on a post about them for once I get everything in and get to burn them all! I'm not allowed to order any more for a while, I'd say. I've got two orders in the mail right now--and that's it for now! (I'm trying, I swear.)

I also just turned in my first story writing for a local magazine! My best friend's family actually publishes several about the casinos and goings on around us, and she'd been begging them to let me write for them, so she called in a favor, and I wrote a story! More to add to my about-to-be bulging schedule, once school starts. 

Well, that's it, at least that I can think of! What has been going on with y'all? Anything exciting coming up? :)

Friday, July 28, 2017

Review: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Release date: April 11, 2017
Author info: Website | Twitter
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 336
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review through Edelweiss
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back. 

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?
I fell in love with Becky Albertalli and her books immediately when I read Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda earlier this year. The book is just infused with charm and joy, and it was such a treat to read--so needless to say, I was pumped to know she had a second book coming out so soon after my first experience. And The Upside of Unrequited is sure to please any Becky fan--or any fan (casual or serious) of contemporary young adult fiction.

Who can't relate to a bunch of crushes you don't tell anyone about? (I, at least, can!) And Molly is such a fun, easily relatable girl in all ways. She feels awkward about her chubbiness at times, but she also loves herself! She voices all the kinds of fears I think teenage girls feel, and she's just the kind of character I'd have loved to read about at that age.

And I loved, loved, LOVED her romance with Reid! They're so comfortable with each other, friends first, and once Molly makes up her mind in that direction, so fun. That's one of my few complaints, actually. Molly is so indecisive, and I kind of hated that another love interest was even around. Like, we didn't need another guy to substantiate the romance? I would've just liked to have alllll the Molly and Reid, honestly.

While I didn't run around like a crazy person after reading this from the adorable (like I did with Simon, but that's a rarity!), The Upside of Unrequited is still wholly adorable and absolutely worth all your time! For many teenagers, I think there's a lot they could take away that would make them feel understood--and that's actually more important than being adorable in the long run. Gimme alllll the Becky Albertalli, please!


About the author:

Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, The Upside of Unrequited, and Leah on the Offbeat. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta. You can visit her online at www.beckyalbertalli.com.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Review: Mad Miss Mimic by Sarah Henstra

Release date: January 3, 2017
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Razorbill Canada
Pages: 272
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review through Netgalley
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
There are things I cannot say in any voice.

London, 1872. Seventeen-year-old heiress Leonora Somerville is preparing to be presented to upper-class society—again. She’s strikingly beautiful and going to be very rich, but Leo has a problem money can’t solve. A curious speech disorder causes her to stutter but allows her to imitate other people’s voices flawlessly. Servants and ladies alike call her “Mad Miss Mimic” behind her back…and watch as Leo unintentionally scares off one potential husband after another.

London is also a city gripped by opium fever. Leo’s brother-in-law, Dr. Dewhurst, and his new business partner, Francis Thornfax, are front-runners in the race to patent an injectable formula of the drug. Friendly, forthright, and devastatingly handsome, Thornfax seems immune to the gossip about Leo’s “madness.” But their courtship is endangered from the start. The mysterious Black Glove opium gang is setting off explosions across the city. The street urchins Dr. Dewhurst treats are dying of overdoses. And then there is Tom Rampling, the working-class boy Leo can’t seem to get off her mind.

As the violence closes in around her, Leo must find the links among the Black Glove’s attacks, Tom’s criminal past, the doctor’s dangerous cure, and Thornfax’s political ambitions. But first she must find her voice.
Weeeeeell. I was so excited to see that Mad Miss Mimic was going to be released in the US, after falling in love with the cover and the premise prior to its release in Canada.  I quickly requested it on Netgalley and read it. And it's taken me this long to write a review. So.

I suppose there's nothing overtly wrong with Mad Miss Mimic. When I finished (after rather laboriously making my way through), I was left mostly with boredom and sadness that I'd been so bored. Leo is a character who mostly just lets things happen around her, and gets lucky in the things that happen. Her speech impediment is a huge part of who she is, and that's done well, but a disability does not a book make.

 Not only all of that, but it's pretty obvious who our bad guy is going to be and the climax is not all that climactic. It's like there's a lot of interesting things, yet nothing has the punch it needs. Everything just left me feeling meh, and pretty sad I'd spent the hours to read the book, short as it is.

And, finally, I hate a lot of the ending. Any kind of power Leo has gained for herself is lost in the wallowing she does just before the ending, and it becomes so...simple. Somehow everything is made right (including Leo's speech impediment) and it's just not compelling.

Honestly, my advice is to skip this one. It's got so much that pushes my "love" buttons, but it just doesn't pay off. There are plenty more YA historical fiction novels you could read otherwise, and most would be a better use of your time. I'm sad to say it, but it's true.


About the author:

Sarah Henstra is the author of Mad Miss Mimic (Razorbill, 2015), an historical novel for young adults. She is a professor of English literature at Ryerson University, where she teaches courses in Gothic Horror, Fairy Tales & Fantasies, Psychoanalysis & Literature, and Creative Writing. She grew up on the wild, wet coast of British Columbia, but now she lives in Toronto, Ontario with her two sons.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Best of 2017... So Far

Six months of the year are over, so it's time for me to count down my top books of 2017 so far! This is one of my favorite posts to do every year, because it's a lot of fun to look over what I've read this year so far and see what I've loved. So far, I've read over 60 books this year, so I've got a few to pick from--and, especially in the last month or so, I've been reading some good books. This is gonna be hard!

So, in no particular order, my favorite books of the year so far:





So these are my favorites! I've given each five stars. I really wanted to keep it to ten, but I couldn't actually bear to cut one of these, so I went with eleven. Don't even let me think of the end of the year, when I really try to keep it to ten. 

I didn't include ACOWAR, even though I loved it, largely because it was the end of the series and I didn't love it as much as ACOMAF. It's a similar story with Devil in Spring, simply because it couldn't live up to Devil in Winter!

Three sequels, two contemporaries, and even something non-fiction! I'm actually surprised at my own variety, because I am such a fantasy reader. 

So, what are your favorite reads of the year so far? Let me know, or if you've written a post, link me to it! :)

Sunday, July 2, 2017

June Recap

Hiiii! I'm heeeeeere! I really thought I'd get better with the posting in June, but I failed. I've got a bunch of reviews nearly done, so hopefully I can get some out this month. I swear.

What books did I get?


A Million Junes by Emily Henry
Time and Time Again: A Collection by Tamara Ireland Stone
Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller
What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum
The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari
Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
The Knowing by Sharon Cameron

Give me a high five--I only bought two books! (That's because I bought a lot of candles...) This is the kind of month-long haul I like, because I definitely read more books than I got! Improvement! I got Mask of Shadows, What to Say Next, and The Best Kind of Magic for review (also an improvement!), and Lair of Dreams and The Knowing from trades! I'm especially excited to have The Knowing, because that keeps my Sharon Cameron ARC collection up to date, and I'm super curious to see how she's continuing the story.

Egalleys for review:


Just Another Viscount in Love by Vivienne Lorret
Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody


A Daring Arrangement by Joanna Shupe
Pacifica by Kristen Simmons

What did I post?

What did I read?

The Girl With the Make-Believe Husband by Julia Quinn
Duke of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt
Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray
The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Mass (audiobook reread)
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
The Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLean

Currently reading: I actually just finished a book, so I'm rather undecided. I'm thinking of Want by Cindy Pon. Any other suggestions?
Favorite of the month: SIX OF CROWS. Oh my lord, this book.

What will I read?


I did such a bad job keeping to my TBR for last month (I read a grand total of two books from the fifteen I put on there), so I went with low expectations for myself. I know I'll get to Crooked Kingdom because I adored SoC so much, so there's that! At least a higher percentage than last month.

What am I doing?

Well, y'all know I was taking a summer class for grad school, and it seriously kicked my butt. It was a lot of reading entire books and then writing little essays on them. Then, in the course of about a week, I had three huge projects due. Each took me at least eight hours to complete, with a least one of them taking more like twelve. Needless to say, finishing was a relief.

Also, if you're familiar with the blog, it's looking a little different, no? I logged on the other day to get some posts written, only to find that all the images hosted with the person I bought my template from were over their usage, so none were showing up any more. So, I went ahead and got a new one! It looks pretty similar to what I had before, just a bit different. I'm still working out some kinks with it, but I think I'll ultimately be happy with it!

And I talked a lot about work last month. The cafe shifts are gone, because they hired several more people who are all trained up, so that's nice. However now, the company is mandating that we have "no task" hours every day, so times where we can't do anything but help customers. Problem is, we're short on hours, so we're behind on pretty much everything. It's one of those things where you just have to shrug your shoulders and get whatever you can done--which I am not good at. I'm handling it so far, but we'll see.

I'm still obsessed with bookish candles, though! I haven't gotten anymore, but I have a couple of orders on the way... I love them and I want them for everything!

Anyway, farewell! Cheers to a wonderful July!